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Allergies and Ear Pressure

By Diane Marks ; Updated August 14, 2017

An allergic reaction causes sinus inflammation, eye irritation and skin complications. Ear pressure related to allergies is the result of swollen sinuses that place pressure on the inner ear, according to MedlinePlus. An allergy is a term used to describe an immune system reaction to an allergen, according to Rutgers University. An allergen can be pollen, a food or beverage or medication that causes the immune system to release chemicals to fight off the substance. The result is an allergic reaction.

Cause

An earache is the result of pressure build up behind the ear drum, caused by excessive fluid, reports Medline Plus. The excessive pressure from swollen sinuses during an allergic reaction cuts off the Eustachian tube in the ear, blocking the tubes normal function of draining fluid. The blockage of the Eustachian tube and pressure from the sinuses can lead to a severe ear pressure, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Symptoms

Ear pressure caused by allergies will be accompanied by other common allergy symptoms. Ear pressure without any other allergy symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Allergy symptoms that could accompany ear pressure include a runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, facial pain, tooth pain, a starchy throat or hives, according to Rutgers University.

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Treatment

Ear pressure from allergies can be treated with home care and over-the-counter medications. MedlinePlus instructs using a cold compress on the ear for 20 minutes to help alleviate ear pain and pressure. Another remedy is to chew gum or place a few drops of olive oil in the ear, as long as the eardrum isn’t ruptured, to provide ear pressure relief. Over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants and pain relievers, can provide relief and help cure the problem. Antihistamines address allergy symptoms, decongestants will reduce inflammation in the sinuses that is causing the pressure and pain relievers will alleviate any pain in the ear from the pressure.

Complications

If ear pressure leads to severe pain with a fever, seek medical advice, as this can be a sign of an ear infection. An ear infection is diagnosed by a doctor and she may prescribe antibiotics to treat it. Facial weakness, dizziness, severe headaches and ear swelling are all signs of complications, according to MedlinePlus. Ear pain that abruptly ends can be a sign of a ruptured eardrum. If symptoms do not improve within 24 to 48 hours, talk to a doctor.

Prevention

MayoClinic.com advises that the most effective way to prevent ear pressure from allergies to avoid allergens. Identify allergens by seeing an allergist to determine what substances cause an allergic reaction. Someone suffering from ear pressure because of allergies can take antihistamines during high allergy season and consider allergy shots.

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